To say Eric Majchrzak’s resume is impressive might be the understatement of the year. For Majchrzak, presenting his undergraduate research at the Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society and at a conference at Pitzer College in Los Angeles was just the beginning of his streling academic career. A 2007 graduate of the Natural Sciences department at Daemen, Majchrzak, a Cheektowaga native, left the area with a degree in biochemistry and headed to the University of Michigan for graduate school.
There, he continued his cutting-edge research on the kinetics and mechanism of metalloenzymes. But at Daemen, and increasingly during his time at Michigan, Majchrzak became drawn to the legal issues surrounding scientific research and development, specifically intellectual property rights. After completing his Master of Science degree in chemistry, he matriculated at the University of Michigan Law School. Upon graduation, he hopes to become an intellectual property attorney, specializing in litigation
Majchrzak credits much of his academic success to Daemen, where the biochemistry program gave him hands-on experience and an opportunity to gain first-hand research experience. The small program and classes allowed him to form close relationships with his professors, including Dr. Matthew Ward, his research advisor, who sparked his interest in chemical research.
“I owe a lot to Daemen,” Majchrzak said. “Not only did I acquire an excellent biochemical and liberal arts education, but I feel the Daemen experience made me a well-rounded individual and prepared me to be a successful professional.”
Would you recommend the natural sciences program to others?
I would definitely recommend the biochemistry program at Daemen. The program provided a great deal of hands-on experience and knowledge that I could not have received anywhere else. Within the biochemistry (and all of the natural science) programs, first-hand scientific research is not only encouraged, but required. The research experience was crucial to obtaining internships throughout my Daemen career and admission to graduate programs in the sciences. The biochemistry program at Daemen gave me the experience and knowledge that was required, not only to compete, but excel in graduate school and beyond.
What did you like best about the biochemistry program?
I found the greatest asset of the biochemistry program to be the close interaction between students and faculty. In such a small, close-knit department, we received personal attention from faculty members, which facilitated communication and learning. Additionally, I appreciated the close relationship I was able to build with several of my professors.
Why did you choose to attend Daemen?
I choose to attend Daemen for the small class sizes and the overall atmosphere at the school. When I visited Daemen as a high school student I was impressed by the collegial atmosphere and supportive community. Thankfully, when I choose to attend Daemen as a student, everything that I perceived as a visitor proved to be true.
Did you have an internship during your time at Daemen? If so, where?
After my sophomore year at Daemen I obtained a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position at the State University of New York at Buffalo. I was selected from a large pool of applicants to participate in the program – largely because of the experiences I had in my first two years at Daemen.
What made you decide to pursue a graduate degree? Have you always had an interest in law?
I originally decided to attend graduate school because I had a desire to learn more about science. My professors at Daemen, especially my research advisor, Dr. Ward, sparked my interest in chemical research. My research project at Daemen – focusing on bioinorganic chemistry – led to my ultimate choice of a graduate school (University of Michigan) and a graduate research group, where I worked on the kinetics and mechanism of a metalloenzyme.
My interests shifted gear toward the end of my time at Daemen when I started to develop an interest in the policies and legal issues associated with scientific developments. As I progressed through my graduate career I became more and more interested in the law associated with science, especially intellectual property issues. After earning a M.S. degree in chemistry I matriculated at the University of Michigan law school.
What are your plans after graduation? What are your career goals?
After graduation (from the University of Michigan Law School) I plan to work as an intellectual property attorney, hopefully specializing in litigation. As an attorney I hope to serve as counsel to companies that are innovating at the cutting edge of science.
What was your favorite experience at Daemen?
I have a lot of great memories from Daemen; so, it is very hard to choose a ‘favorite experience.’ However, if I had to choose, I would say that my favorite experience at Daemen was the research project that I performed under the direction of Dr. Ward. I was able to work in a fascinating and cutting-edge field of science and also I had the opportunity to present my work in several forums. I presented posters detailing my research at Daemen’s annual Academic Festival and at the Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Also, I was able to present my research at a conference at Pitzer College in Los Angeles, California.